Hansbrough still looking hard at UA

It's been a rough start to the season for Tyler Hansbrough. It's not that the elite forward hasn't played well, he just hasn't played. Hansbrough strained his Achilles tendon and was out for a couple of weeks. Now he's back in action and a lot of schools are paying attention.

"It was tough," Hansbrough said. "Of course I wanted to play."

The versatile power forward is back and has come on strong since getting back on the floor. Although the injury kept him out for his team's first four games, it seems to be much better.

"It doesn't hurt right now," Hansbrough confessed. "I came back strong. I had 38 and 11 my first game back."

Last night he had 21 points and nine rebounds against Memphis Northside in the Poplar Bluff Basketball Showdown that featured some pretty good competition. Teams from Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Georgia participated.

His team struggled without him, but they are now 3-4 and look to turn things around. It helps having a 6-9 forward who can do a lot of things. Hansbrough is very athletic and has nice moves on the inside. His shot is smooth, but he's not content with his perimeter game.

"I'm working hard on my outside skills," Hansbrough said.

The Wildcats are going hard after Hansbrough and were all set to watch him practice while they were in Missouri for the Saint Louis game. Unfortunately that fell through when Hansbrough had a doctor's appointment, but the Wildcat coaching staff saw plenty of him over the summer at the various recruiting camps and obviously they loved what they saw.

Arizona had been out of Hanbrough's top-three, but now it appears that the Wildcats are back in the hunt. Hansbrough lists the Wildcats right up there with longtime favorites Missouri, Florida and Kentucky and insists that the Wildcats and North Carolina and Duke are all right there.

Over the summer Hansbrough thought he might take a look at the program on an unofficial visit, but the end-of-summer plans fell through. Now the talented forward is planning on really scoping out the school.

"I'll take an official visit likely," Hansbrough said. "I'll take it after my high school season is over. It would be great if they are still playing."

The schools Hansbrough is looking at are all very good basketball programs, but they are all very different. Each school runs different styles and each plays in a different conference. One thing they all have in common - a good coaching staff and a good track record of sending players to the pros.

"I want to play in the NBA," said Hansbrough. "I think I have a pretty good chance. I want to go to the school that will develop me the best way possible. I'm looking at all that the program has to offer."

His father Gene was an athlete at Missouri and no one would be shocked to learn that he was whispering in Tyler's ear, but that just isn't the case. His father has maintained all along that it would be Tyler's decision and that is exactly how it is playing out.

"No he's not pushing them (Missouri)," Hansbrough said of his father and his alma mater. "He is just saying that he wants me to go to the school that is best for me."

Missouri is not only the sentimental favorite but it is the closest school in to his hometown of Poplar Bluff, Mo. Kentucky is not too far, but the rest of his schools are fairly far away. None more so than Arizona. Distance may be a factor, but not much of one.

"It helps, but it is not a major reason," Hansbrough said.

He really hasn't given much thought to when he will make a decision, but in an ideal world he would make it early. He knows he won't rush anything and that all of the schools on his list will get a very thorough look. Fortunately for the Wildcats, that list now includes Arizona again.

Tyler Hansbrough Profile

Video Clip

Wildcat Authority Top Stories